Friday, February 22, 2008

What About On Day Two?


Now that the wheels are coming off, that we're near the end of this seemingly never-ending campaign - and debate marathon - can Hillary Clinton, and her clunkering camp, retire the "Ready on Day One" mantra?


It's hasn't worked.

It's gotten about as much lift-off and mileage as the Spruce Goose.

And it's become just as wooden.














Besides, everyone knows that on Day One of a new job, you're lost, bored and made to feel like an imbecile.

First off, there's the canned, dull, HR Orientation you have to sit through ... Blah, Blah, Blah ... Company policies ... Blah, Blah, Blah ... Refer to your Employee Handbook ... Blah, Blah, Blah ...

Then you get ushered to your office.

First 15-minutes, or so, is adjusting the height of your chair (and you can add 5-minutes for those that like to jack the chair up all the way, then hit the lever, to let it go down all the way, real fast).

Office supplies ... There's another 20-minutes, or so ... Annoying the people around you, who sigh loudly as they point you to the supply room, clearly intending to make you feel like the imbecile previously mentioned, for not knowing where the supply room is ... Duh!

Then, the paperwork ... W-4 forms, the 5-inch thick Healthcare book, with dozens of forms ... You lose a good 15-minutes here, mulling over who to designate as your Emergency Contact person (who's going to home during the day, in case something happens and do you want to bother that person and, since you have their telephone number on speed dial - at home - you chalk up another 10-minutes trying to remember their number)

The rest of the morning is spent on figuring out the telephone system, with about half that time spent waiting of IT to either bring you a telephone, or to unlock the password, left by the previous employee, for whom you are replacing, for the voice-mail.

And then it's a good 20-minutes, or more, recording, and rerecording your voice-mail message ... Calling up some friends (you don't want to go back to those annoyed co-workers) to call you, to leave you a message, see how the voice-mail recording plays.

Then, it's lunch, followed by meetings in the afternoon, designed to get you up-to-speed, all the while you begin clock-watching, dying for this day to end.

So, it goes, being that she's already spent eight-years in the White House, as First Lady, Hillary may very well have a slight advantage of Day One, already knowing the lay-of-the-land there.

If Hillary is inferring something else about "Ready on Day One", then we have to turn to Barry Crimmins, who has articulated the "Day One" mantra like no others;

"Clinton's claim that she will be ready 'Day One' is contradicted by the fact that she's been ready for nothing on the campaign trail. In particular, she hasn't been ready to compete with an extremely well organized and evermore popular opponent. Nowadays, when you look at Hillary the campaigner, you see a candidate whose toughest electoral foe before this race was Rick Lazio. Sorry, but you need to play a tougher non-conference schedule than that.

Obama's campaign has organized in every precinct of the country. This has proven the superior plan to the "where in the world is Hillary Clinton?" approach of an opponent who now looks much more presumptuous than presumptive. Obama's camp has distributed authority to workers on the basis of merit. This has resulted in an enthusiastic and extraordinarily energized base of Obama activists. These people are flattening a Clinton workforce that too often is comprised of drones forced into duty by bosses beholden to the old Clinton machine.

Unfortunately for Senator Clinton, that once well-oiled machine of the 90's isn't nearly as efficient as the wiry and wireless workers of an Obama effort that understands that running for President of the United States requires serious organization in every one of the States."

And that "Lifting whole passages is not change you can believe in, it's change you can Xerox" line ...

Sorry Hillary, it makes you so ink-stained-Mimeograph-machine, to Obama, the most popular downloaded eBook on the new Kindle thingy.


Bonus Debate Links

Trex: Thank You for Playing, Now Please Just Go Away

Michael J.W. Stickings: Texas debate review

Scarecrow: Valedictory Debate?

Marc Ambinder: First Take: The Debate Belongs To Obama, But The Best (And) Last Moment Belongs To Hillary

CNN Transcript: The CNN Democratic presidential debate in Texas


Hillary, Ready on Day One!

This Date ... On The Garlic


Garlic History - On This Day


22 February, 2007... On The Garlic

Blair and Cheney Sing A Duet: 'Blair, It's Not So Bad Out There'



22 February 2006... On The Garlic

Veto Signing Will Be Fundraiser for Libby; White House, Preparing For Port Showdown, To Run "Veto" Classes For Bush

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Martha Stewart and Donald Trump Can End Their Feud



22 February 2005... On The Garlic

In Memoriam - Hunter S. Thompson

Prez Europe Trip Quashes Holiday Celebrations

Royal Navy Courts Gays

Air Luxenbourg To Hit The Airwaves; Raid Competetion's Talent

Top Ten Cloves: Other Problems With Microsoft's Xbox


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Power To The People! ... Howard Zinn's "Election Madness"


There's timing ... And then there's TIMING!


And Howard Zinn comes in today with a much-needed dash of cold water.

With the media in a tizzy today, over L' Affaire McCain, and whether the melting maverick boinked a lobbyist, or just sold his soul to her (perhaps both!), and waiting in the wings to flare back up is the sinking ship of Hillary Clinton, Zinn offers, in the March 2008 edition of 'The Progressive', "Election Madness".

A brief snippet;

"Today, we can be sure that the Democratic Party, unless it faces a popular upsurge, will not move off center. The two leading Presidential candidates have made it clear that if elected, they will not bring an immediate end to the Iraq War, or institute a system of free health care for all.

They offer no radical change from the status quo.

They do not propose what the present desperation of people cries out for: a government guarantee of jobs to everyone who needs one, a minimum income for every household, housing relief to everyone who faces eviction or foreclosure.

They do not suggest the deep cuts in the military budget or the radical changes in the tax system that would free billions, even trillions, for social programs to transform the way we live.

None of this should surprise us. The Democratic Party has broken with its historic conservatism, its pandering to the rich, its predilection for war, only when it has encountered rebellion from below, as in the Thirties and the Sixties. We should not expect that a victory at the ballot box in November will even begin to budge the nation from its twin fundamental illnesses: capitalist greed and militarism."

Not likely to catch this kind of observation on your six-o'clock evening news.

Zinn has been there, done that ... He's talked the talk and walked the walk ... He's a historian, playwright, social activist and author of “A People’s History of the United States” (among about 20 others).


Read Howard Zinn's "Election Madness"

Visit Howard Zinn's website

(h/t to Barry Crimmins)


Hillary Clinton's Great Day!


Well, for starters, there weren't any primaries or caucuses scheduled yesterday, so she didn't suffer her 12th consecutive defeat.


After getting her butt kicked again, in Wisconsin, that by itself could have the Clinton Camp with smiles on their faces.

But truth be told, the Clinton Campaign, and the Clintonistas, are beginning to look like the orchestra on the deck of the Titanic.

They play, on-and-on, as momentum, if we stay with the theme is the gigantic, moving-at-warp-speed-iceberg named Barak Obama.

And The Other Clinton acknowledged that, via ABC News;

"If she wins Texas and Ohio I think she will be the nominee. If you don't deliver for her, I don't think she can be. It's all on you," the former president told the audience at the beginning of his speech."

But, before the storm clouds could gather sufficiently to ruin Hillary's Great Day, it started raining gifts.

For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses Its Own Risk

Her potential (hark back to The Other Clinton, and the miracle needed) opponent in the general election moved in with the umbrella to take over the front pages of nearly every newspaper and website.

Unless you've been taken in an Extraordinary Rendition, you couldn't have missed the NYT bombshell that Here's Johnny Boy McCain had an improper affair (and we use that term loosely, as it may rest on "business" versus "romance") with a telecommunications lobbyist, named Vickie Iseman.

Now, two things here;
1. It's very likely that Hillary let loose with a sigh of relief, that a major newspaper broke a story of an improper relationship and the name "Bill Clinton" wasn't in it.

2. Hillary likely cursed after hearing the news, that the name in the improper relationship wasn't "Barack Obama"

However, as the old saying goes, you don't punch a gift horse in the mouth, and Hillary is walking around today with a bounce in her step.

No blaring headlines on how her campaign is over.

No marathon cable news talkfests on how her campaign is over.

No exposes on the Clinton Campaign badgering delegates, to save her campaign from being over.

This gift from Here's Johnny Boy McCain has legs - two legs.

First will be the hounding of McCain, his campaign, former campaign workers, family, friends, nannies, gardeners, et all, by the media to dig into the romance angle, of McCain was playing around (and, how remarkable the the resemblance between Iseman and his wife).

Secondly, The New York Times is coming under heat, that the story held back information, wasn't complete, that there's something there they are not saying.

If, and it's a huge if, the NYT is just running a hit piece, something more appropriate for a tabloid, the media will bury them. Tear them apart. It will ugly and vicious and bodies will pile up very quickly.

All of which gives Hillary hours, possibly days, of clear sailing.

She can smoke cigarettes and drink beer, belching unapologetically ... She can walk down the street and spit on sidewalks ...

Headlines and kirons for the immediate future will carry "John McCain" and not "Hillary Clinton".

And for that, Hillary Clinton had, and is having, a great day!

This Date ... On The Garlic


Garlic History - On This Day


21 February, 2007... On The Garlic


Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard In The Scooter Libby Jury Room



21 February 2006... On The Garlic


Bush, To Stymie Port Critics, May Send Cheney Out For Second Shooting Admission

Top Ten Cloves: Ways U.S. Winter Olympic Team Can Win More Gold Medals



21 February 2005... On The Garlic


Israel To Take New Steps In End To Destroying Palestinian Homes

NASA Dismisses Life On Mars Despite Strong Evidence

Mall of America To Expand, Take Twin Cities by Eminent Domain

ADA Survey Shows 4 Out of 5 Dentists Recommend Not Trusting 4 Out of 5 Dentists

Top Ten Cloves On How Bush Will Screw Up In Europe


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Retro Garlic: Mirror, Mirror On The Wall ...


Who's The Prettiest Alphonso Jackson of Them All?


Maybe he wants to get his pictures out there, before someone else, perhaps, in the not-too-distant future, starts a gallery of his mugshot.

We speak of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson.

Al Karmen's 'In The Loop' has a nice little offering today, in his "HUD's Exhibitionist";

"Tour groups need not even go through the inviting metal detectors to admire 20 large, color photographs of the secretary, each about 2 feet by 3 feet. No fewer than five of them feature Jackson with President Bush-- in the Rose Garden, in the Oval Office, chatting together, coming down the steps at the Capitol.

The photographs cover an entire wall of the lobby as you enter, passing two other photos, the smaller official ones, of Bush and his old buddy from Texas days, side by side to greet you.

There's a lovely picture of Jackson testifying, another of him looking pensive, one neat one of him wearing headphones as he looks out a helicopter window flying over somewhere -- perhaps those FEMA trailers in New Orleans. (One minor quibble is that no brief explanations accompany the photos.)

The exhibit includes photos of an empathetic Jackson talking with a disabled child in a wheelchair, chatting with three women and giving a speech. And there is another of him at a construction site, the only one that might help visitors connect Jackson to his job here."

It could be a soft PR campaign.

You see, Jackson is currently under investigation, for handing out some sweetheart contracts to a buddy, down in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

And why do we initiate another Retro Garlic for his narcissistic display?

Top Ten Cloves: Signs HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson Is Getting Ready To Cancel Your Contract

Jackson, back in 2006, took umbrage to a potential contract-winner, after said potential contract-winner dissed Jackson's boss - The Commander Guy.

From The Dallas Business Journal;
"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

Where do they find these people?


Bonus Action Jackson Links

Howard Kurtz: Loyalty Oath?

Probe Finds Jackson Urged Favoritism in HUD Contracts

The Carpetbagger Report: New HUD defense — Alphonso Jackson lied


Hats Off To Josh Marshall, and The Entire TPM Crew ... First Blog To Win Polk Award!


Attytood put it this way
;

"The George Polk Awards are kind of like the Golden Globes of American journalism . Not as well known as those Oscars of the news business, the Pulitzer Prize, the Polk Awards are nevertheless probably a close second in terms of prestige, and this year I am especially blown away by the quality of the work they honor."

Included in those who blew away Attytood is Josh Marshall, and the crew over on Talking Points Memo, who became the first bloggers to win this prestigious award.


From The George Polk Awards;
"The Polk Award for Legal Reporting will go to Joshua Micah Marshall, editor and publisher of the widely read political blog, Talking Points Memo. His sites, Talking Points Memo and TPMmuckraker, led the news media in coverage of the politically motivated dismissals of United States attorneys across the country. Noting a similarity between firings in Arkansas and California, Marshall and his staff (with his staff reporter-bloggers Paul Kiel and Justin Rood) connected the dots and found a pattern of federal prosecutors being forced from office for failing to do the Bush Administration's bidding. Marshall’s tenacious investigative reporting sparked interest by the traditional news media and led to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales"

If you're not hip to TPM, and the associated TPM sites, do so ... It's rock-solid 411 and they don't pull any punches.

Regular readers of The Garlic know that we tag/link to TPM frequently - and will continue to do so, even with their getting this high-flalutin' award!

Congratulations Josh, and TPM! ... Major Clutch Play!


Bonus Links

The George Polk Awards

Wikipedia - George Polk Award

Editor and Publisher: Slain Editor Bailey Among George Polk Award Winners

This Date ... On The Garlic


Garlic History - On This Day


20 February, 2007... On The Garlic

"Unexplained Incident" Shuts Down Mount Vernon After Bush Speech; DHS, Geologists Stumped; Theories Include First President Spinning In Grave Cautiously Viewed


20 February 2006... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Things President Bush Is Daydreaming About On President's Day Holiday

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Forget About What Obama Said ... Check Out Wolfson's Defense of Hillary!


Boy, the feathers were flying - big time - yesterday.


Seeking to throw a spike strip in front of the steamrolling Obama Campaign, the Clintonistas were up in arms over the Senator from Illinois using lines in speech, that had been previously used by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

And it wasn't subtle.

Plagiarism!, the cries went out.

Taylor Marsh could barely contain herself, both on her own blog and on The Huffington Post.

"Barack Obama isn't an original. He's the first 21st century L. Ron Hubbard of politics, Elmer Gantry, name your huckster ... "I have a dream" just became "I have a con."
Ouch!

We can only imagine, one of Marsh's staffers must have had to stand by while she was typing, cloth-in-hand, to wipe the foam away from her mouth.

You can see the conflagration here, on Memeorandum.

It didn't seem to matter, that as the Clintonistas were manning the flamethrower, Obama himself, as while as others, came to diffuse the situation, noting that Obama and Patrick are friends and have frequently shared campaign strategy, speeches, etc.

Even a Republican weighed in on it.

Obama, himself, noted that, in hindsight, it might have been wise to make the citation, while completely defending himself, pointing to the books he's written, etc.

And soon, as quickly as the arrows were flying at Obama, well, what do you know, examples of Hillary using the words of others in her stump speeches began appearing (Disclosure - It was not noted if Clinton was speaking in her own voice on these occasions, or if she was summoning up the voices of the dead)

Lost amid the drifting smoke was Howard Wolfson, Clinton Communications guy, and his sterling, backhanded compliment to his boss.

From Jake Tapper, at ABC News;
"I asked Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson and Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass, if they could assure the public that neither Clinton nor McGovern has ever done what Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, did when he used the rhetoric of Gov. Deval Patrick without footnoting him.

They would not.

In fact, Wolfson seemed to say it wouldn't be as big a deal if it were discovered that Clinton had "lifted" such language.

"Sen. Clinton is not running on the strength of her rhetoric," Wolfson said.

Sen. Clinton is not running on the strength of her rhetoric!

That is like the New York Yankees coming out today and saying that, "at least, Roger Clemens didn't leave his used needles lying around the clubhouse floor".

After all the hullabaloo, all the fuss, about Hillary "finding my own voice", Wolfson comes to her defense by, essentially, saying, she's a blockhead!

Oh boy, that is too rich ...

Wolfson might as well have just said "My client wouldn't do that, she's to dumb", or "Pigs will fly before Hillary has the mental capacity to pick up something like that".

With Obama leading in the voting, I half expect Wolfson to come out dissing him, perhaps with a Yogi Berra line, like "Nobody goes there anymore because it's too crowded."

If Obama wants to have some fun, some wicked fun, the film "The Legend of 1900" comes to mind.

1900 is a stowaway, virtuoso pianist (hauntingly portrayed by Tim Roth), born, growing up on and never leaving, an oceanliner.
"At one point in the film Jelly Roll Morton (Clarence Williams III), of New Orleans jazz fame, comes aboard to challenge 1900 to a piano duel. 1900 merely toys with the hot-tempered Morton, even going so far as to play a note-for-note version of an original tune Morton just played! In the end, the ship-bound 1900 defeats Morton handily."

Obama, in the next debate, should emulate 1900, and word-for-word, hand back a Hillary answer, but with his tremendous skills.

Perhaps, like Jelly Roll Morton in the film, Hillary will simply slink away, throughly over- matched and defeated.

Who says that they don't write happy endings anymore?


The Grenade-Tossing, Flame-Throwing Links

The Plank: Former Clinton Speechwriter Weighs In On Plagiarism-Gate

Bob Cesca: The Wolfson Plagiarism Attack Is Ridiculous

Jeff Fecke: Is Barack Obama a Plagiarist? (No.)

James Joyner: Obama ‘Steals’ from King and Jefferson

Kevin Drum: The Obama Bubble


Good Thing Barry Crimmins Doesn't Work For MSNBC!

"Has your mother shown any remorse for the fact that her vote cost Iraqis a million of their lives?” a student asked Chelsea Clinton on Monday at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ms. Clinton replied: “She cast a vote based on the best available evidence. Perhaps you had clairvoyance then, and that’s extraordinary."

Maybe, Chelsea can influence her mother, and, include in her healthcare plan, a provision in that, if people want it, they can have a sixth sense surgically implanted.

As with Frank Rich last week, Barry Crimmins is now persona non gratis at MSNBC, assuming they are still applying the David Shuster standard, for Crimmins, yesterday, has a tremendous, multiple-tongues-in-cheek look at the former First Daughter.
"You have to wonder why they're keeping such a warm and engaging person away from the media. She could have been sarcastic, flippant, condescending, impatient and dismissive in response to a challenge from an obnoxious peasant. Instead this warm, open and humble young lady chose to suggest that anyone capable of out-thinking her mother in 2002 was gifted with psychic powers and very special indeed. Some people are just givers.

Get over to Barry's website and read "Premonitions of ESP"

It may be the best, most humorous post you'll read today


Bonus Chelsea Links

Dennis Perrin: Pimping Outrage

Rachel Sklar: L'Affaire Shuster: Big Camel, Big Straw

Chez Pazienza: Pimp My Riot: In Defense of David Shuster


This Date ... On The Garlic


Garlic History - On This Day


19 February, 2007... On The Garlic

"But I Really Did Want To Testify ... Really!" ... The Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll


Monday, February 18, 2008

Thank God, We Have So Many Media Options In This Country ... So People Can Be Informed!


Nicole Belle, over on Crooks and Liars
, has a gem-of-a-gem post today.


It's a video of a few Mike Huckabee supporters, with a crystal clear grasp of the 2008 Presidential Campaign, and why they are firmly behind The Huckster.

As Nicole states;

"It never fails that every day, someone will leave a comment asking us why we spend so much time watching news shows and pointing out Republican framing and other types of media bias."

It's really an amazing spectacle .. A Must-See-Video!

Click over and check out "Why We Do What We Do"

(And be prepared to do a good deal of head-shaking)


Bonus Huckabee Links

Quad City Times: Huckabee pokes fun at Bush over reading intelligence reports

Attytood: Huckabee goes all Santorum on us

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Chuck Norris Will Keep Mike Huckabee From Getting Old In The White House, If He's Elected


Where, Oh Where, Can Those Missing White House Emails Be ... Oh, Where, Oh Where Can They Be ... The Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll


There are so many of them, and Keith Olbermann is tracking them, in his nightly segment "Bushed", that it's hard to put a quantitative amount of disgust on the ever looming Bush Grindhouse scandals.


Seemingly, just as one begins to fade into the background - BAM! - a whole new fresh one erupts on the scene ...

Take the Missing White House Emails.

The Bush Grindhouse has thumbed their noses at the Presidential Records Act, running official USA business on email accounts belonging to the RNC, not preserving them, or even having a policy to preserve (these last two come with a "wink, wink").

And it's just a coincidence that a major batch of missing White House emails are from the period of time when they were amping up the lies about going to war, and preparing to expose covert CIA Agent Valeria Plame.

And, they have the gall to say that none are missing!

Using the logic, that since they can't be located, you can't really say any are missing - Check out the transcript, with White House Assistant Mouthpiece Tony Fratto babbling on about it.

Well, our Garlic Poll voters have a pretty good idea where they may be.

Being the our Vice President actually went to court, to protect the secrecy of his Energy Task Force meetings, the vote was they got reclassified and stuck in there.

With the way these guys operate, that certainly wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities.

The Results - The Garlic's Weekly Poll January 22 - February 17, 2008

Those missing White House emails ... Turns out that ...

1. All got reclassified as part of Cheney's Energy Task Force, so now off-limits Tally 38%

2. Barney ate them Tally 28%

3. They were part of Bush's "Clean Screens Act" Tally 17%

4. The server they were stored on was in New Orleans ... So, with Hurricane Katrina ... Tally 17%


This week’s Poll - With so much confusing talk about them, most people think Superdelegates are ...

Scroll up to the top right corner to place your vote


Bonus Bush Grindhouse Antics

ThinkProgress: Bush Administration Hides More Data, Shuts Down Website Tracking U.S. Economic Indicators

The Carpetbagger Report: What you don’t know can hurt us

TPMmuckraker - Bush Admin: What You Don't Know Can't Hurt Us, 2007 Version


This Date ... On The Garlic


Garlic History - On This Day



18 February, 2007... On The Garlic


Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves



18 February 2006... On The Garlic


Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves



18 February 2005... On The Garlic


Prosecution Plays Tape Showing Blake Confused, Confessing To Fictitious Murder

Starbucks Abandons Coffee; Goes For Happy Hour Market

Top Ten Obstacles for New Homeland Security Director John Negroponte

Selig Drops Bombshell; Steroids Legal and Mandatory


Sunday, February 17, 2008

OMG! ... The Country Is Still Safe, and Standing!


I have to say, I am having some difficulty writing this.


You see, my hands are trembling, making for many errors, while my body aches, still encased in fear.

It began early last evening, a fairly low-key Saturday night, with no special plans in place.

And once I remembered, it became anything but, and if I did have special plans, they'd be thrown out the window (that is before I wrapped them up with plastic and duct tape).

I kept staring at the clocks in the house, whatever room I moved to-and-from.

As I did this, I couldn't help hearing in my head, the theme song from 'High Noon', playing over-and-over ... At times, I would find myself quietly singing it ... "Do not forsake me O my darlin' ..."

Would they come in, by train, like Frank Miller?

It wasn't my wedding day, but, oh no, would I die alone? Should I run out, grab the first woman I see and get married - all before the stroke of midnight?

Would there be time to do all the paperwork? Make her my Emergency Contact, download and fill in a quick Last Will and Testament? Should I leave everything to her, should she survive?

Then another fear whacked me like a three-ton locomotive - Should I go out shopping?

The Commander Guy has, pretty consistently, advocated, urged and otherwise encouraged us to go out shopping, a don't-let-them- win-kind-of-thing ...

And this put me in a terrible state of confusion - do I go out shopping before it happens, or after it happens?

My computer was still downloading the Last Will and Testament, so I couldn't go out to The Google, and search for that.

And I still had windows to button up with the plastic and duct tape (moments like this, you can't help but curse that you live in a big house).

And the High Noon theme seemed to be getting louder and louder with each passing minute.

As I slapped the plastic against the last window that needed to be covered up, I noticed my next-door neighbors' windows were open and clear, no plastic-and-duct-tape on them ... Hmmm ... Poor bastards, I thought ... I hope it will be quick and painless for them ... I hope they're not hysterical screamers (this was a point where I was wishing the High Noon theme was playing louder in my head) ... I did make a note, in the notebook I started earlier in the day, to go down to City Hall - if it was still standing - and make an inquiry on my neighbors property ... Maybe, it I get there early ...

I checked the box of food and water I had stored, everything looked good.

OMG! ... What about ice? ... I quickly scanned my notebook, to see if I jotted down FEMA's number, to call them after it happens, and see if they still have any ice left.

Made a check, and the bathtub was still full of water, though it was considerably colder now (Hmmm, maybe I should have waited to do that last).

When I passed the next clock, the fear took a tighter grip of me.

It was well into the 11-O'clock hour and I couldn't help but obsess on how it will come ... A quick, bright flash, or a big, resounding boom? Damn, I thought, I should have left one window without the plastic and duct tape, so I could have a view, maybe keep sentry, perhaps seeing which way they will come from.

High Noon theme again ... If I did see them coming, what would I do?

Should I do something, or just call the authorities, and let them do something? Would there be enough time for that?

That quickly shifted to thinking, would the authorities believe me, or would they think I was one of them?

No camera in the cell phone so I couldn't talk with the authorities, snap a quick photo and email it to them all at once.

I quickly dug through the barricade I built in front of my den, deeming that as my last point of refuge, so I could get in there and dig out my camera (Old Minolta, but a good one, when they still made them with steel bodies), popped in a roll of film ... When they find my body, maybe I would have had time to snap a few pics that they could use in some future trial, if they ever catch them ...

I think the cacophony of the High Noon theme playing in my head, the smell of the duct tape and plastic wafting through the house, the dust the got kicked up breaking through the barricade, put me in a frenzy, as the clock was inching closer to the midnight hour.

For I was awoken, somewhere between the hours of 2AM-to-3AM, - startled awake, I should add - by a wicked sound.

I quickly realized that it was the wind, rattling my windows, not some al Qaeda terrorist attempting to break in and kill me.

I drifted off again, only to be startled a second time, when the alarm clock rang off this morning, fearing, for a moment that I had left my television on, and the Emergency Broadcast System was breaking in, not with their usual "weekly test" but with an "actual emergency".

I dressed quickly and ran out the front door - my street, my neighborhood was still intact!

No billowing smoke coming from any of the structures.

No charred, smoldering, blown-apart automobiles anywhere in sight.

The Protect America Act expired, but the country didn't.

Those lying sons-of-bitches.

Or maybe, just maybe, the terrorist know that the Protect America Act was only about protecting and giving the Telcoms immunity, and that the U.S. Government still has a boatload of options on tracing their calls, reading their emails and otherwise tracking them down.

Maybe the terrorists where all caught up in all the excitement of NBA Weekend, hanging out to watch the All-Star game ... Or the Daytona 500.

It's the President's Day holiday, so maybe their busy going through the newspapers, and planning on going automobile shopping.

Boy, that would be a kicker ...

After all of The Commander Guy's exhortations to go shopping, wouldn't that be the cat's ass if it was the terrorists who were the ones going out shopping?


Bonus Faux Fear Riffs

Jane Hamsher/Firedoglake: The FISA Dishonesty Hour

The Carpetbagger Report: Don’t believe the FISA hype — ‘The sky is not falling’

mcjoan/Daily Kos: How quickly we forget

The Rightwing Smear Machine, Running As Strong and Smooth as the Edsel!


Grover Norquist
?


They trot out Grover Norquist to start throwing smear bombs at Barack Obama, and the Democrats?

The same Grover Norquist that compared the Estate Tax to the Holocaust?

The Grover Norquist that helped that other sterling patriot, Newt Gingrich, write the Contract On America?

Jack Abramoff's buddy, that Grover Norquist?

Here's some "hard-hitting" Norquist mud;

"Grover Norquist, an influential conservative tax reform lobbyist, said: “Barack Obama has been able to create his own image and introduce himself to voters, but the swing voters in a general election are not paying attention yet. He is open to being defined as a leftwing, corrupt Chicago politician.”

“It will be easy to portray him as even harder-left than Hillary,” said Norquist. “Hillary could lose the election, but Obama could collapse. People already know Hillary and she is not popular, but the disadvantage for Obama is that Republicans can teach people who don’t know him who he is.”

And this from Gingrich, who last year advocated curtailing our 1st Amendment, our Freedom of Speech;
"Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House and Republican guru, recently described Obama as the “most leftwing candidate to run since George McGovern” – a reference to the anti-Vietnam-war Democrat who lost 49 states out of 50 to Richard Nixon in the 1972 election ..."

Blue Texan, over on Firedoglake had the right reaction;
"OMG, Obama's leftwing! He's a socialist!!!!!

McGOVERN!!!11!!!!

So pathetic.

The days when the GOP brand was strong enough that all a wingnut had to do is scream "McGovern!" are over. Now the game-changing name is "Bush."

I know it's a bit early, the Democratic nomination is far from being settled, but this is the first, sputtering output from the famed Rightwing Smear Machine?

Why would they come out, albeit early, with trying to diss him on McGovern? That’s documentable history ... That's so out-of-character for the Freakshow... Far easier, and much nastier when they go with their usual Modus Operandi, you know, just making shit up, and then putting it through the echo chamber of Matt Sludge, Faux News, Coltergeist, et all.

Are they rattled this early?

This from the party of The Commander Guy, and about to adopt as their nominee, Dead McCain Walking.

Jeesh ... I know we shouldn't let our guard down, but it's not a good sign when they trot out Grover Norquist and Newt Gingrich as the early line of mudslingers.

I guess we'll have to wait for the varsity smearmongers.


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